17 Directors Almost As Famous As The Stars Of Their Films

Most major celebrities are the people in front of the screen. Actors and actresses are, after all, the face of Hollywood. Actors are the ones who fans see the most of, both on screen and in the tabloids. While it's certainly true that actors have squared a market on fame, there are some behind-the-scenes players who may give the actors in their films a run for their money. Here are the 17 film directors just as famous as the people they direct on camera.

by Kaitlin Reilly

Tim Burton

Burton looks exactly like the kind of guy who would create the creepy worlds of Edward Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd. Burton’s signature style is gothic fairytale, appropriate considering he looks like a character in his own.

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Steven Spielberg

Perhaps the most mainstream director on this list, and for good reason — Spielberg’s films are modern day classics, from Jaws to E.T.: The Extraterrestrial.

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Eli Roth

Roth rose to fame with his 2002 horror film Cabin Fever and went on to create torture-porn franchise Hostel three years later. He’s also an occasional actor, most notably taking on the role of “The Bear Jew” in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards.

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Catherine Hardwicke

Hardwicke hit the indie scene with her too-close-to-home film Thirteen. Proving that she was savvy at directing teens, she moved on to films like Lords of Dogtown in 2005 and the much-mocked (but much watched) Twilight in 2008. Today she is trying her hand at television, directing the pilot episodes of CBS series Reckless and new MTV thriller Eye Candy.

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Rob Zombie

A founding member of band White Zombie, the director shifted gears towards filmmaking with 2003’s House of 1000 Corpses. He followed that up with its sequel The Devil’s Rejects in 2005 and a remake of Halloween in 2007.

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Kathryn Bigelow

Bigelow’s war film The Hurt Locker took home the Best Picture Oscar in 2008. Her 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty was nominated for the same award, making Bigelow the new director to watch.

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Martin Scorsese

Scorsese is just as famous as the star he helped launch the career of, Robert De Niro. The born-and-bred New Yorker tends to make films about his hometown.

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Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino’s films are essentially a compilation of hundreds of different styles, and yet it’s easy to identify a Tarantino flick. His use of non-linear story lines in films like Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill showed that you don’t have to play by the rules to create an effective film.

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George Lucas

Lucas created iconic characters like Indiana Jones and Darth Vader, and has become an icon in his own right in the filmmaking community.

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Spike Lee

The Do The Right Thing director has made thought-provoking, stylized films since the late '80s. He recently spoke out against Brooklyn gentrification.

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David Lynch

The Blue Velvet director and creator of iconic '90s TV series Twin Peaks is an odd duck with a plethora of side jobs, including “wine bottle designer.” He recently made a guest appearance on FX series Louie.

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Sofia Coppola

Coppola was a (not very good) actress who starred in The Godfather: Part III before developing her own unique directing style. Her dreamy films include The Virgin Suicides, Somewhere, and The Bling Ring.

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Michael Bay

The man behind Transformers and Armageddon is a household name. You can identify a Michael Bay movie by how many explosions there are within the first 10 minutes. You can identify the man because of that hair.

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M. Night Shyamalan

Shyamalan rose to fame as a director with The Sixth Sense in 1999 and became well known for his common film trope, which is to tack on a major twist ending onto everything. If you recognize his face, it’s probably because he has made a cameo appearance in many of his earlier films like Signs and The Village.

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The Coen Brothers

The directing duo Ethan and Joel Coen wrote and directed the 1984 film Blood Simple, which launched their careers — and at least one iconic character. You can thank these guys for The Dude from The Big Lebowski, and for every time your friend attempts to order a White Russian at a bar.

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Kevin Smith

Smith wrote, directed, and produced the low-budget film Clerks in 1994 and went on to create quirky films like Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. But you might know him best as Silent Bob, the “man of few words” he created and plays in many of his films.

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Rob Reiner

Reiner started his Hollywood career as an actor, portraying Michael on All In The Family. Today, he’s better known for the work he’s done behind the scenes, directing classics like the romcom When Harry Met Sally.

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